US Navy to commission Virginia-class submarine Indiana in September

14 June 2018 (Last Updated June 14th, 2018 12:36)

The US Navy's newest Virginia-class fast-attack submarine, the future USS Indiana (SSN 789), is slated to be commissioned on 29 September.

The US Navy’s newest Virginia-class fast-attack submarine, the future USS Indiana (SSN 789), is slated to be commissioned on 29 September.

The ship will be commissioned at the US Navy Port at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Port Canaveral, Florida.

SSN 789 will be the 16th Virginia-class ship to join the fleet upon deployment with the navy.

“Indiana features a redesigned bow that replaces the original 12 individual Vertical Launch System tubes with two large-diameter Virginia Payload Tubes.”

It will also represent the third US Navy vessel, and first submarine, to be named after the state of Indiana.

The future USS Indiana was built as part of the Virginia-class Block III contract, which has seen the US Navy revise approximately 20% of its submarine design.

Indiana features a redesigned bow that replaces the original 12 individual Vertical Launch System tubes with two large-diameter Virginia Payload Tubes.

Each of the two Virginia Payload Tubes is capable of launching six Tomahawk cruise missiles.

The redesign is noted to have helped reduce the vessel’s acquisition costs, while maintaining its warfighting capabilities.

The US Navy submarine has been developed to function in both coastal and deep-ocean environments.

It features a number of capabilities such as anti-submarine, anti-surface ship and strike warfare, as well as special operation forces (SOF) support and irregular warfare abilities.

The vessel can also be deployed for mine warfare missions, in addition to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations.

SSN 789 is equipped with special features than enable it to support SOF, including a reconfigurable torpedo room capable of accommodating a large number of SOFs along with the entire range of equipment for prolonged deployments and future off-board payloads.

Construction work on the future USS Indiana originally began in 2012.

The 377ft-long submarine was christened on 29 April 2017 before being launched with the US Navy on 9 June the same year.

SSN 789 was built under a partnership between Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) and General Dynamics Electric Boat.

The vessel successfully completed its initial sea trials last month.